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A Wedding Video: Picture Perfect

Posted in Wedding Video by HUNTER BRIDE

Wedding video for your big day

A Wedding Video: Picture Perfect

With most weddings these days comes a wedding photographer to snap you against the gorgeous backdrops of the day. And while many couples are happy to settle with an album of memories, more and more are choosing to also have their day recorded by video. Nothing quite captures the mood, feeling, tears (happy tears of course!) and laughter of the most special of days.

A professionally shot video can provide a lifetime of memories. The days of grainy home video are long gone. With crisp images, crystal clear audio and even editing functions if you desire, you’ll have your own romantic movies on hand. Every moment of your special day can be relived and will provide the perfect excuse for a glass of champagne and some unashamed romance each anniversary.

Should you choose to include a video of your day, a professional will ensure your end product is a quality memento that perfectly reflects the day. Not everyone will provide the same end product, so it makes sense to look around first and make enquiries of those whose work appeals to you. Make an appointment to discuss all aspects: what sort of look you are after, what is included, even if you’d like a soundtrack of music included. You’ll also need to confirm how much of the day you’d like videoed. They can be with you from dusk to dawn if desired. It’s also important to ask how long it will take to receive the video footage after the wedding day.

A wedding video can be more than just a way to re-live your own memories – it’s perfect if you have relatives and friends overseas. They may not be able to make it to your big day, but being able to watch it will allow them to share in your joy.

Wedding Photo of the Month Competition

Posted in Hunter Bride News by HUNTER BRIDE

Taken by Alan Khan Photography & Video

Taken by Alan Khan Photography & Video

Hunter Bride has launched the Wedding Photo of the Month Competition for your chance to win some great prizes!

Our first competition will be held during November 2011 so send in your photo now for your chance to win a Gift Certificate from Charm Me valued at $100!

Condition of entry for the November 2011 competition:

1. Email one photo to The photo can be a general couples photo, an engagement photo, a pre-wedding photo, or a wedding day photo. Please also email your names (you and your partner), the date of your wedding, the photographer who took the photo, your ceremony and reception locations, and provide location details of where the photo was taken. Must be a location within the Hunter region of NSW Australia.

2. We only accept one photo per couple per month.
3. The winner for November 2011 cannot enter the subsequent competition.
4. You must be a resident of Australia to enter.
5. The photo must be taken within a location of the Hunter region of NSW Australia.
6. By sending a photo, you give us permission to post it on the Hunter Bride site and social platforms. Please check with your photographer.
7. Cut off date for sending photos is the 30th October 2011.
8. Voting starts on November 1st 2011 and ends November 30th 2011 at 11.59pm.
9. The photo with the most votes (Facebook Likes Plus Twitter Tweets Plus Google +1’s) is the winner.
10. The winning photo will receive a Gift Certificate from Charm Me valued at $100. This will be sent by post at the winner’s address.
Good luck!

The Funky Do Da’s

Posted in DJs, Music & Entertainment by HUNTER BRIDE

The Funky Do Da's on the beach.

The Funky Do Da’s

Music and entertainment is an important part of your wedding day. Music sets the tone for the day and enhances the overall experience. If you have the right music or entertainment at the reception, you will have guests moving and shaking on the dance floor late into the night.

It is also a guaranteed way to ensure guests have such a great time that they’ll remember it for years to come. In fact, a survey in the US showed that 81% of guests say that the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment and the food!

And what better way to make sure your guests remember the entertainment than by having a live band? It is always exciting to hear a band playing your favourite songs live, and The Funky Do Da’s are no exception. The energy they exude will have you and your guests jumping from your chairs to go dancing.

The Funky Do Da’s bring both experience and professionalism to any event they are working. They have been together since 1992 and have earned themselves a name throughout all of Australia by playing at corporate events, jazz festivals and of course weddings. They have even played for the Prime Minister!

They are definitely not a one-track band either. Their diverse style in music has seen them perform jazz at various jazz festivals, funky pop at The Queen Victoria Building in Sydney and cocktail music at the Museum of Contemporary Arts.

This is great news for your wedding day. This diversity means the band will be able to switch easily from refined music during the serving of canapés, to easy listening tunes throughout dinner and then of course the fun songs to get everyone up and onto the dance floor.

Music is the hardest part of any event to cater for all tastes, and if you have varying age groups attending, there is always one group who are not as excited about the song choices as everyone else is. Thankfully, this is no longer a worry for the bride and groom-to-be as The Funky Do Da’s will package up an entertaining song list that caters for everyone, young and old. This means all guests will have a turn up on the dance floor throughout the evening, from the children to the grandparents and everyone in between! And in the off chance this isn’t working, over the years they have become experts at reading the crowd and knowing what needs to be done to get people moving and happy. This may mean upping the tempo or perhaps even putting on a slow, romantic song for the sweethearts.

The professionalism doesn’t end there. The Funky Do Da’s are well known for their punctuality, playing music at a volume that is friendly to all guests and for the ease at which they set up and pack up.

And if you have something special in mind for your big day, no request is too big or small for this band. They are happy to learn a song for you, provide a microphone for your use and if your wedding is themed, not a problem! They will have the music to match.

As with any live entertainment, make sure you take some time out to listen to the band play a live gig, or listen to a demo tape, before booking. We challenge you to get through a whole set of the Do Da’s without tapping your foot along to the beat!

The Wedding Gift Registry

Posted in Wedding Registry & Gifts by HUNTER BRIDE

Wedding Registry

The Wedding Gift Registry

With the amount of information that needs to be included within the wedding invitation these days, you may be forgiven if you nearly forget gift registry details.

By now, you have probably stuffed the envelope with information on accommodation options, maps and directions to the church or service venue as well as the details of the day such as dates, times and addresses.

But if you plan to organise a gift registry, then you will need to include details of that within the invitation as well.

There may have been a time when it was seen as rude to specifically request – or expect – gifts from guests. You may even still feel slightly uncomfortable sending such a request. But these days it is such a common part of weddings that it is mostly expected. In fact, it can save a lot of stress for wedding guests who are trying to work out what you need – not to mention it will also save you from receiving six toasters and ten vases!

Of course, it is definitely a good idea to remember your manners when broaching this sensitive topic. Don’t be demanding, simply let people know that if they wish to purchase a gift for you, here are some ideas of what you need. It is always nice to also let them know that their presence on your special day is the most important thing and of course, they don’t have to stick to the registry if they have something else in mind. This can all be said in a cute poem or a nice saying attached to the registry information.

If you are planning to have a registry, but haven’t thought about what you need yet, here are the three most popular types of registry brides will use today:

Wishing Well

The wishing well is a gift of money. The actual wishing well itself is often used in cultures where monetary gifts are not already the norm. It will be stated on the invitation that the bride and groom wish to receive donations of cash – in a nice way of course! And at the actual wedding there may be a cute wishing well sitting on a table where guests can deposit their cards with blessings and money inside.

Department Store Gift Registry

The department store is quite a traditional place to have a gift registry. For years, brides and grooms have been registering at places such as Myer and David Jones and these days many smaller retail chains offer this service.

Registering at a department store is lots of fun. The bride and groom-to-be get to wander around the shop and pick and choose what they would like to put on their wish list – it is shopping without the expense!


Honeymoon Register

Honeymoon Registry

The cost of a wedding can be tough on newlyweds and this often means the honeymoon is delayed or downgraded. Because of this, the honeymoon registry is now a big trend for weddings.

The couple registers with a travel agent and puts a down payment on the destination of their choice. The registry is then opened up to guests to make contributions as big or small as they please.

The contributions can be cash towards the overall cost of the holiday, or they can be specific items such as a dinner for the newlyweds or a couple’s massage in the hotel. This ensures the bride and groom-to-be not only get to have the wedding of their dreams, but it also means they can begin their lives together on their ideal honeymoon.

Wedding Entertainment for a Day to Remember

Posted in DJs, Music & Entertainment by HUNTER BRIDE

Bride and Groom enjoying the wedding entertainment.

Wedding Entertainment for a Day to Remember

You’ve been building up to your big day for months, or dare we say years! There’s been planning, seemingly endless list of things to do, buy and remember, and yes, probably just a little stress. And dare we mention those last minute jitters. The great news is that once the formalities are over the fun part begins. After your beautifully romantic ceremony and the speeches at the reception, it’s time to truly let your hair down. And what better way to do it than with music and dancing.

Wherever you choose to hold your reception – restaurant, marquee or dedicated venue – you’ll have the option to organise some entertainment.

First thing is to choose a theme to suit your mood, and the day. Is it a morning, afternoon or evening wedding? Is it a formal occasion or a casual, fun affair?

When it comes to music, you could just stick to CDS (and may have to in a small venue) but if you want to get toes tapping and hips swinging, a live act or DJ might be the go. A DJ can be great if you’re planning plenty of dancing. Just imagine hearing all your special songs, and retro favourites. If it’s a live performer you want then the choices are many. Will it be a singer and guitarist or a rock band? Need something more restrained and elegant? How about a string quartet? Envision soothing but exciting classical music as a backdrop to your reception, and perhaps even during the wedding ceremony.

When it comes to wedding entertainment there are plenty of options. Search our directory and make some calls to find your perfect performer. Ask questions before you book and ensure everyone is clear on what the entertainment will comprise, and when it will begin and end. If you haven’t heard the performer before, ask for a sample of their work on CD. And if you’re looking to book a popular band, book early!

What better way to finish your wedding day than with the sound of music and laughter?

Hens Night Games

Posted in Hens & Bucks Parties by HUNTER BRIDE

Group of women at a hen's night.

Hens Night Games

Organising a hen night is a lot of fun, but it can also be quite a lot of work. As a bridesmaid, or the person who has been put in charge of the night, you will be responsible for a group of women who may not know each other very well. A bit of forward planning of some games and ice-breakers is a great way to make sure everyone is having as much fun as possible.

When planning the games remember to keep them lighthearted and fun. There is a good chance the guests will be drinking and having fun already so don’t be too strict and take the fun out of it if they are. However if there are a lot of people who don’t know each other then there is also a good chance that you will need a few ice-breakers to get everyone in the mood for a great night.

Before settling on the games you plan to play keep in mind the guest list. Is the hen’s mum or granny going to be there? What about the future mother-in-law? If so, it might be a good idea to save the rude or naughty games until after the older ladies have left for the evening to avoid any awkward moments.

Check out our list below for ideas on games that are either family-friendly or a little bit naughty:

Pin the Penis

This game can be bought from most party shops that have a hen night section. It is just what you might imagine by the name … it is a version of pin the tail on the donkey but instead the main picture is of a man and you have to pin the … err, you get the idea. It is a hilarious game to both play and watch.

The Bride and Groom Quiz

This is a good one to play throughout dinner, as it doesn’t involve anyone needing to stand up or move around. Before the night, prepare a list of questions so you can quiz your guests on how well they know the bride and groom. Ask questions such as: How they met, their birthday dates, their favourite song together etc. This is a nice family friendly game so if Granny is around she will probably enjoy this.

The Hen

Hens Night Out

The Secrets of Marriage Gift Bag

On the invitation to the hen night, ask your guests to bring an item to be placed into a gift bag for the bride. This item is something that will help her in her future marriage. It can be as simple as a piece of advice written on a scrap of paper, to something as elaborate as fancy underwear for the honeymoon. You will find people bring all sorts of different gifts; from hilarious advice, to rude and funny gifts to sweet ideas. As you watch the bride-to-be open each item you will be moved from fits of laughter to tears and back again.

The Brides Challenge

An oldie but a goodie. Prepare a list of challenges or dares for the hen to complete throughout the course of the evening. Challenges can be to collect another mans phone number (preferably written on her arm or another body part), to score a free drink from a barman or free entry to a club, to propose to a stranger or to sing a karaoke song. Even thinking up the challenges and putting the list together can have you laughing. Print a copy of the dares for each guest so they can keep tabs on whether the hen is fulfilling her duties.

With a little planning in advance, and sticking to some of the advice listed above, you should be able to organise a hens night that is not only fun but runs smoothly as well. Enjoy the night!

A Wedding Reception to Remember in the Gorgeous Hunter Valley

Posted in Hunter Valley Weddings, Wedding Reception Venues by HUNTER BRIDE

Hunter Valley Wedding Venues

A Wedding Reception to Remember

Will it be a restaurant among the vines, or a marquee under the stars overlooking lush grassy hills? How about an English garden brimming with beautiful flowers? Now that you have the ceremony sorted (you did remember to do that didn’t you?) it’s time to find the perfect spot to dine, dance and create a wedding reception you and your guests will remember.

There is an abundance of reception venues in the Hunter Valley that can cater to weddings of any size, from intimate gatherings to bigger than Ben Hur extended family affairs. You may have an idea of the sort of place you’re after, or not a clue as to where to start. Don’t panic – start by browsing our Hunter Valley wedding venues directory and magazines for inspiration and ask around for recommendations. Do you want live music and a dance floor? Are you looking for glamorous and ritzy or casual and comfortable?

When you know a little more about what you want, short list some venues that look promising or have been recommended, make some calls and arrange a time to view them for yourselves.

You will need to have some basic information on hand: the estimated number of guests, date or dates you are looking to marry, and preferred time of day for the reception. If you know where the ceremony is being held, it makes sense to choose a venue in close proximity. Ask questions about access to the venue for set-up and about what is, and isn’t included in the price.

Then it’s just a case of deciding which venue best meets your needs, the size of your party, and your own personal style. You might opt for a dedicated reception venue, any of the many fine dining restaurants in the region, or even an accommodation option that provides areas for wedding receptions. Wherever you choose, you can look forward to some beautiful food, delicious wines, and perhaps some dancing to finish off the big night.

Exclusive Vintage Wedding Cars

Posted in Wedding Cars & Transport, Wedding Suppliers by HUNTER BRIDE

If you are considering choosing Exclusive Vintage Wedding Cars as your wedding car provider, you are in for a real treat. The classic cars and the old-world charm combine to give you a service on your day that is difficult to match elsewhere.

With an array of vintage cars on offer, you will find each one comes with its own rich history. The individual cars have a name and such an interesting background story you will fall in love with the personality they all have to offer, leaving you hard pressed to decide on the right one for you. Make an appointment to visit Allan, the owner of the cars, and listen to his passionate tales of how he has lovingly restored the vehicles.

The experience doesn’t stop with just the amazing cars on offer, it is also the service on the day – and leading up to the day – that will make this a company you will remember long after the wedding is over. Exclusive Vintage Wedding Cars are genuine people who really do care about making sure the bride and bridal party are having the perfect day.

The drivers are gentlemanly and traditional. From their smart outfits down to their immaculate manners, they will make you feel like royalty on your big day. They are there to help you in and out of the car and no one is left out of the service, as once you arrive at the church or place of ceremony, they will even escort the mother-of-the-bride to her seat before the bridal procession begins.

At the end of the ceremony it is time to relax and celebrate and the drivers will help you kick off by setting up a lovely silver service of champagne and chocolates at a location of your choice. This makes for a great photo opportunity!

And the best part of all is that you are not restricted by time limits. As long as it is within reason, the gentlemen at Exclusive Vintage Wedding Cars will not be watching the clock while you travel from ceremony to reception.

So if you are currently searching for a car service for your wedding day, make sure you speak to Exclusive Vintage Wedding Cars, you won’t regret it!

Exclusive Vintage Wedding Cars

Exclusive Vintage Wedding Cars

Exclusive Vintage Wedding Cars

Exclusive Vintage Wedding Cars

Exclusive Vintage Wedding Cars

Exclusive Vintage Wedding Cars

Beautiful Backdrops for Wonderful Wedding Photos

Posted in Hunter Valley Weddings, Lake Macquarie Weddings, Newcastle Weddings, Wedding Photography by HUNTER BRIDE

One of the many fabulous things about the Hunter region is not only the beautiful natural scenery that abounds, but the variety of settings. From sweeping valleys to sparkling lakes and stunning beaches, the area is blessed with sights to take your breath away. So if you are looking to marry in the region, you’ll be spoiled for choice for the perfect backdrop for your wedding day photos.

With sweeping panoramas of valleys and vines, the Hunter Valley is a gorgeous spot that will always provide a stunning backdrop for your perfect day. It’s packed with character accommodation, wonderful wineries and lush rolling hills. Many reception venues here have beautiful gardens and wonderful views, so you may not need to travel far at all for your photos – and that can be a good idea on a day when there’s so much going on.

In Newcastle, the options are extensive. You might choose the iconic landmark, Nobbies as a backdrop, the harbour foreshore, any of a variety of beautiful parks (King Edward and Civic Park have been wedding party favourites for many years) or the historic East End of town with its character terraces. Or you might decide on a spot overlooking any of the beautiful beaches for which the town is known.

For a beautiful bush setting or gorgeous lakeside photo opportunity, nothing quite beats the sparkling and tranquil Lake Macquarie – and there are numerous potential locations around the Lake.

It’s your day, and your day to shine. So whether you choose lake or beach, valley or hill, wild bush or English cottage garden, there are natural photographic backdrops to suit any wedding in the beautiful Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter Valley region.

Beautiful Vineyard Weddings

Beautiful Backdrops for Wonderful Wedding Photos

Lakeside Weddings

Natural Photographic Backdrops

Accommodation Options for your Hunter Valley Wedding

Posted in Hunter Valley Weddings, Wedding Guest Accommodation by HUNTER BRIDE

Guest Accommodation at the Hunter Valley

Accommodation Options for your Hunter Valley Wedding

If you’ve decided to marry in the Hunter Valley, you’ve already done an admirable job of picking one of the best locations around for guest accommodation. There is an abundance of accommodation in the Hunter Valley to suit any budget and any mood. From cabins to five star luxury lodgings, the choice is entirely yours – or that of your guests.

So where to start? Obviously you will need to have the date decided, and ceremony and reception venues booked so there are no sudden changes. Then simply search websites and listings to discover the array of accommodation options available. You may wish to book family and some guests into their accommodation close to, or even at the reception venue if available. Some couples choose to provide a shortlist of suggested accommodation to wedding guests, or you could give yourself a break and let guests do the work themselves. With so many quality locations available, they shouldn’t have any trouble finding somewhere that suits their style and their budget.

Guests can pick from hotels, resorts or may even choose a self-contained option such as a holiday cottage. This can be a great idea for small groups of friends or families.

And don’t forget your own accommodation of course. It’s the first night of the rest of your lives together, so if you’re not immediately jetting off for an overseas honeymoon, you’ll want to make it special. Romantic cottage or bed and breakfast, heritage hotel or luxury resort, it’s all possible when you marry in the beautiful Hunter Valley.

What better way to start married life than by waking up to breathtaking views, beautiful quality surroundings, and a fresh delicious breakfast?